If you have ever put your head out the window of a moving car, you've experienced the blast of wind (along with a bug or two) in your face, which is one very good reason why you don't make a frequent habit of doing this. Now imagine the front of your car enduring such punishment, in the sun and the rain, in the heat and the cold, at all road speeds, for hours at a time. The rushing air, combined with sand, pebbles, insects, and anything else that might get thrown into the mix, is constantly punishing your car's paint. No amount of washing and waxing will protect it. If you are serious about shielding that paint from this abrasive blast, you want a car bra.
The original "car bra" was designed by Bill Colgan in the early 1960s. As the story goes, several engineers walked into Bill's upholstery shop and asked him to put together some front covers for the Porsches they were driving. After completing an initial order of 12, Bill was asked for additional orders, eventually totaling about 150 pieces. Because this was side work for him, he was at least temporarily forced to discontinue it due to the existing demand for his regular upholstery work. Fast forward a few years, and Bill got back to tinkering with the covers based on some local customer requests. He then decided to test the waters by placing an ad in an automotive magazine for the "car bra" (his term). By the mid-1970s, business really took off for Bill, but so did the competition. Nevertheless, he was there first, and gave the product its unique name.
Today, whether you call them bras, masks, or covers, all these front end protectors are engineered to provide maximum protection with little if any downside. Hoods, retractable headlights, and fog lights remain fully accessible and functional without removing the bra. The soft backing material will not scratch your ride's paint. Clips and other attachment devices are coated to likewise protect from scratching. Most are designed with attachments mounted to the bra itself, so there is no hardware to misplace. Installation almost always can be done in minutes without the use of hand tools.
At CARiD, we offer car bras from several different manufacturers, and each of these in turn have a number of different models to choose from. Let's take a more detailed look at these offerings.
The "LeBra" brand of car bras includes their Custom Front End Cover, for complete protection, and their Custom Hood Protector, for a sleeker look. Both products are constructed from durable leather-grain vinyl, which is micro-perforated to help it dry out after a wet soak. Each product is made to exactly fit your particular year, make, and model vehicle. The Custom Front End Cover provides maximum protection, while the Custom Hood Protector shields the hood from all manner of road hazards. All LeBra car bras are warranted by the manufacturer for a period of 90 days.
Coverking, a company well-versed in protective products such as seat covers and full car covers, also makes several front end protective products. Their Custom Front End Mask is manufactured using their Velocitex vinyl, with a mildew-resistant inner lining. The mask is available in either black vinyl or in a carbon-fiber finish for a small upcharge. Coverking also offers a Custom Hood Protector, to protect the leading edge of the hood and provide a sporty look. Like the Custom Front End Mask, the Custom Hood Protector is made of Velocitex, with either a smooth black or carbon fiber look on the vinyl. Both of these products are precisely designed to fit your exact vehicle. Coverking warrants all its products to be free of defects in material or workmanship for a period of one year.
The company named after the man who started this trend still is going strong. All Colgan Custom products feature an exact fit based on vehicle year, make, and model, double padding in critical areas, 25 oz. flannel-backed vinyl, coated and padded hooks, and a choice of either black embossed vinyl or a carbon-fiber look embossed vinyl. Colgan backs up all their bra products with a 3 year warranty.
Colgan makes four distinctly different types of car bras, affording you complete choice when it comes to protecting your vehicle's front end. The Colgan Full Bra provides coverage for the front of the car plus the hood, up to the base of the windshield. The T-Style Bra protects much of the hood, providing broad protection at the front, then extending to the windshield in a "T" shape. The Original Bra is the shape that started it all, providing complete front end protection in a design that still gives you full functionality for your hood, lights, etc. The Colgan Sport Bra protects the leading edge of the hood where it's needed most, and gives that oh-so important sporty look (hence the name!).
A unique product in the Colgan line is their Mirror Bra. Made from the same material and with the same care as their front-end bras, the Mirror Bras offer that exclusive "extra touch" to complement the Colgan Car Bras. Keeping in mind that your outside mirrors are not only subject to the same windy blast as your front end, they also extend out from the body and suffer from narrow spaces more than most other areas of your car, the Mirror Bras are as much about function as they are about style.
Whether you drive a sporty car, a Sport Utility Vehicle, or a minivan in which you pretend to be sporty, your vehicle's front end is suffering from the ravages of the road. You owe it to yourself to look into the various types and sizes of car bras available for your vehicle. Once you realize that the front of your car or truck is literally being sand-blasted every time you drive, you will agree with us that a car bra provides the protection you need with the sporty good looks you want.